This is the story of a nervous girl and a secret poop. It all began when we drove west for my brothers wedding. Adam, Gus and I in one car, three of my sisters plus significant others and mom in another. As we descended upon Edmonton our fourth sister joined us and, reunited, the chaos began. Like most of our family gatherings it didn’t subside until we hauled our alcohol-soaked bodies back into our respective vehicles at the end of the weekend, stuffed with delicious wedding food and sore from laughter, hangovers and shame.
I have four younger sisters and one older brother. The youngest of all of the sisters is Poopie. And although this (obviously) isn’t her real name, it IS her real nickname and as you shall soon see it fits in rather delightfully with the theme of story (see what I done there? We done call that foreshadowin’).
SO. Poopie. Poopie is 19, has a tattoo of a Llama and is generally hilarious. We arrive in Edmonton and after few days of shopping and carousing and sibling squabbling, the big day arrives: The Bridal Shower. To this day I am curious about what heinous LIES my brother told his new wife’s family about us, because two weeks before this very bridal shower I received a worried email from the bride’s sister. She wanted reassurance from me that my sisters wouldn’t show up with a four foot tall penis, or make the bride demonstrate her fellatio skills to a roomful of shocked (shocked!) great-aunts and mothers.
It was a lovely email and I assured her that of course, nothing of the sort would be occurring. And then I made an emergency phone call to the second youngest (and biggest shitshow) sister and had the following conversation:
Me: Hilly you guys aren’t planning on bring giant penises or anything to Kate’s bridal shower are you?
Hilary: ….um, why?
Me: Because I just got a really sweet email from Beth and she’s worried about the party being appropriate and environmentally friendly, so she doesn’t want anything obscene or made out of plastic or anything.
Hilly: Well fuck, the deposit on the male-stripper is non-refundable! What the shit am I supposed to do now? I’ll make the giant dick out of papier-mache, it’s biodegradable so that’s still fine right?
I warned all of the sisters to be on their BEST, classiest behaviour so we could prove to my ne’er do well brother and his new extended family that we could be civilized. (More foreshadowing: HA!)
It began well, we five sisters showed up looking appropriately pretty in dresses and heels, we made our rounds, introduced ourselves to the aunts and cousins and childhood friends and nary a penis-straw was to be found. We delicately nibbled on cupcakes and homemade chocolates and I began to think that maybe, just maybe we would get out of this unscathed. It was then, as I stood by the champagne station pondering our newfound dignity that it all began to unravel. Poopie approached me, making this face:
“We have a problem!” she whispered frantically. She lifted her arms and I gasped involuntarily as I saw the huge, sopping pit stains that had bloomed through the thin fabric of her dress.
“What the hell’s wrong with you?” I hissed angrily. “Why are you sweating so much?” Couldn’t she see she was going to ruin this for all of us?!
“I’m prairie dogging!” she cried, “I don’t know what to do!”
“What?” For a few sweet seconds I was cloaked in a blissful state called Ignorance and didn’t understand what she meant. And then. And then I did.
I glanced from my baby sisters stricken face to the bathroom, mere feet away from the table laden with sweets and cheese platters. The table everyone was congregated around.
“Maybe no one will notice?” I tried, helpfully.
“Oh, they’ll notice” she replied, “It’s a stinky one I can tell and I’ve already checked out the bathroom – no fan!”
A deep weight descended in my chest. It was becoming all too apparent that my sisters and I were going to ruin this fancy party like we ruin all fancy parties, by shitting too close to the cupcakes.
At this point, summoned by the panicked look on my face and our conspiratorial huddle, my other sister Lizzie joined us. “What’s going on?”
“Poopie has to drop a deuce, emergency styles.”I informed her.
Lizzie glanced from us, to the bathroom, to the colourful food platters and understood immediately. “What are we going to do?”
“What about an upstairs bathroom?” I cried suddenly, “They must have an upstairs bathroom, you could sneak out and do it and no one would even know!”
Poopie was not a fan of this idea “What the fuck am I supposed to do, just tiptoe away (here she made exaggerated sneaky tippy-toe movements) to snoop around the house of a person I barely know? What if someone comes upstairs and catches me? What would I say, ‘Hi I just needed to shit myself in your master bathroom. Nice hand towels’?!”
At this point the ridiculousness of this situation met the champagne that Lizzie had been forcing on me all evening and that, coupled with Poopies exaggerated tiptoe mime was enough to set me going. I started giggling uncontrollably and after a few seconds Lizzie joined in.
“Stop it!” Poopie cried, “It’s not funny! What do I DO?”. Her wide-eyed panic just made us laugh harder until she, spooked by the stares we were garnering from other guests, stealthily slunk away. We didn’t see her again for fifteen minutes. I have no idea what happened during those 15 minutes but I imagine it looked a little something like this:
When she reappeared, looking significantly less sweaty I looked at her quizzically and she gave me a relieved thumbs up. Success!
Later in the evening the bride’s sister generously gave us a tour of her beautiful home. As we walked down the polished hardwood hallways and peeked our heads into various rooms, we came upon the upstairs bathroom. “Look familiar Poopie?” Lizzie whispered and received a vicious elbow to the ribs.
The bathroom was beautiful; white and immaculate. A vintage tub stood gracefully on clawfoot legs, tasteful art hung on the walls and there was just the faintest whiff of excrement still hanging in the air.